Who Pays Your Taxes?

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Bolton Hall

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The Christian Union, Vol. 46, p. 1002.

Who Pays Your Taxes? Edited by Bolton Hall. (G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York.) This volume is issued by the authority of the New York Tax Reform Association, and contains a number of able essays. The Tax Reform Association is composed of men more or less in sympathy with Henry George's proposition to impose all taxes on land value. The work before us demands the repeal of all taxes upon personal property. Its fundamental error is brought out by the picture which serves as its frontispiece. A farmer and his boys are getting the sap froma tree whose trunk is marked "real estate" and whose branches are marked "manufactures," "business capital," "personal property," " incomes," " wages," etc. The boys are boring at the branches; the old farmer gets his sap from the trunk of the tree. The moral is stated thus: "When the trunk is tapped, each branch is drawn upon for its due proportion of sap." This is very clever, but utterly false. The farmers in this country have only one-fourth of the wealth, but they have one-half of the real estate. The tapping of the trunk would take as much sap from their quarter of the wealth as from the three-quarters belonging, to the people in the towns.